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Tom Foley on Education

 

 


Ran on platform of school choice

On the campaign trail last fall, Gov. Dan Malloy was relatively quiet on the issue of charter school expansion, while Republican challenger candidate Tom Foley ran on a platform of increased school choice. But a review by The Courant of spending records shows that charter school donors still chose to support Malloy. The campaign contributions last cycle came from groups such as the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN), Achievement First, Families for Excellent Schools and others that have spent nearly $800,000 lobbying the legislature this year.

After the legislature's budget-writing appropriations committee rejected the proposal to open two new schools, charter school advocates responded with a full-fledged lobbying effort that included a rally at the Capitol the following week. The groups spent more than $100,000 busing out-of-state parents into Hartford, erecting Jumbotron screens on the Capitol lawn and purchasing Subway sandwiches for volunteers. Malloy gave a speech.

Source: Hartford Courant coverage of 2016 Connecticut Senate race , May 29, 2015

In-district public school choice, money follows the child

On education, Foley would concentrate on policy changes that would impact schools with bad academic outcomes, while leaving successful schools alone. He said mandating the Common Core Standards and a standard teacher evaluation system is a mistake; Foley would institute an A-F grading system to measure how the schools are doing.

For those schools that aren't doing well, you need to have "in-district public school choice, money follows the child." Foley said parents would make the decision on where to send their kids and he would revise the state grant per child by equating it with the child's needs.

"It shouldn't be a flat number, which is what happens today," Foley said. "That grant should be variable depending on the needs of the child," with less money for capable, independent students with a lot of enrichment at home and more for special needs children, he said.

Source: New Haven Register on 2014 Connecticut gubernatorial race , Jun 29, 2014

Charters are part of the solution, but not whole solution

Asked about the criticism of charter schools that they underserve bilingual students and those with with special needs, Foley dimissed this. "The criticism of charter schools is that they are nonunion," Foley said. "That's the big political problem and i
Source: New Haven Register on 2014 Connecticut gubernatorial race , Jun 29, 2014

Local control instead of Common Core mandates

Foley was critical of statewide Common Core assessments on schools, whether they are doing well or not. He said we have some of the best public schools in the country.

"I don't know why the governor would be interfering with those schools who are doing well under local control and mandating things like Common Core assessments," he said. "I adhere to the principal 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it," Foley said. "Let's go fix the schools that aren't working and let's leave alone those that are."

He accused Malloy of not engaging teachers and administrators when the process of teacher evaluations was changed and Common Core standards were starting to be put into effect.

"I'm a good listener. I like to incorporate everybody's views. I like to make sure that solutions incorporate the suggestions and hopefully gain the cooperation of those people who are going to be relied on to put them into effect," he said.

Source: New Haven Register on 2014 Connecticut gubernatorial race , Jun 16, 2014

Other candidates on Education: Tom Foley on other issues:
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Dan Malloy
Danny Drew
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